Old article. Chrome happily exists almost everywhere now.
I am so ticked off about Google Chrome that I almost wasn't going to even mention it here. Why am I ticked? Well, it's bad enough that there is currently only a Windows version, but that snub becomes even more insulting when you realize that Chrome was built with Apple's Webkit!
Arrgh. There's a place you can sign up to be notified when and if they
complete their other versions; and apparently there is source code
available (see Ars Technica's post) that
might work for Linux et al., but dammit I just want to play with it, not
struggle with source. Comments at that article indicate it hasn't been
so bad - but if that's true, why doesn't Google just provide a dmg and an rpm? 'Cause it ain't near ready, that's why! As they said at
Build Instructions (Mac OS X)
(link dead, sorry)
The Linux notes say much the same thing:
Oh well. They'll get there eventually. So what's important about Chrome? Oh, nothing much: it's just another nail in Microsoft's coffin..
First of all, Google did something very smart: they run tabs as separate proceses. Not only that, but they run plugins that way too. The takeaway there is that a screwed up site or suddenly insane plugin won't crash anything else. This will also stop memory from being sucked away page by page..
Second, Chrome has Google Gears built in and if you save a Google App like Gmail or Google Docs to your Desktop as an "Application Shortcut" (click on the "Control the Current Page" icon) that shortcut will launch looking like an application rather than a browser.. and as Gears can give it local storage, well, it is.
Neat, and scary if you are a large multinational corporation accustomed to having an operating system monopoly. I was talking to a customer yesterday who was fretting over what to buy to replace their wheezing old accounting app. "We don't want to buy something where the company will be out of business in ten years!", she lamented. I responded that ANYONE can be out of business ten years from now - even Microsoft. She raised her eyebrows (crazy Unix/Mac guy!), but it's true, and Google Chrome is a hint as to why.
Take a look at Chrome (or at least read the comic book!). Yeah, it will probably be a little buggy now, and yeah, we want the Mac and Linux versions, but this IS our future, or at least a peek at it. That's fairly certain.
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